May 7

1914: Justice Benjamin Cardozo, informed consent ruling

In a lawsuit involving the Society of NY Hospital, Justice Benjamin Cardozo ruled :

“Every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body, and a surgeon who performs an operation without his patient’s consent commits an assault.”

But few American physicians were subjected to criminal prosecutions for unauthorized use of patients in nontherapeutic research. (Lederer, Subjected to Science)


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